Riverside’s Martin Luther King Walk-A-Thon canceled by coronavirus
Riverside African American Historical Society emanated from a Riverside Municipal Museum advisory committee established in 1996 and was officially incorporated on February 3, 2000 as a non-profit public benefit corporation.
On May 21, 1999, the Society held an Open Enrollment Reception at the Riverside Chamber of Commerce building with Dr. Ralph Crowder as a guest speaker. 51 persons were in attendance. The Society sponsored its first Pacesetters Reception honoring 10 Unsung Heroes. The Pacesetters Award is given to uncelebrated heroes who give of themselves untiringly for the betterment of society. The Inaugural General Meeting was held on September 27, 1999 where charter memberships were made available to all joining the Society effective January 1, 2000. The total number of charter members was 26. The first newsletter was published on February 1, 2000. Mr. Gary Windom, Riverside's first African American Public Defender, was the guest speaker at the first quarterly meeting on this date for the distribution of the newsletter. In January 2000, RAAHS became a co-sponsor of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Walk-a-Thon in conjunction with the MLK Monument Visionaries Foundation. The Riverside African American Historical Society was officially incorporated on February 3, 2000 as a non-profit public benefit corporation. Dr. Alan Pauw was the facilitator. The original Board of Directors as listed in the Articles of Incorporation is Dorella Anderson, Cleda Givens-Bullock, H. Hugh Layton, Rose M. Mayes, Susan Strickland, Jeanette Ward, and Joyce Y. Harris. On July 6, 20111, RAAHS hosted a welcome reception for Judge Richard T. Fields, the first African American Superior Court Judge of Riverside County. September 29, 2000 marked the beginning of our annual meetings. In February 2001, RAAHS became a sister organization to the Riverside Historical Society. On March 24, 2001, the first Black History Academic Bowl has held at Park Avenue Baptist Church under the leadership of Dr. Ralph Crowder. On September 13, 2001, in collaboration with the Riverside Museum Associates, RAAHS sponsored the "Wade in the Water" traveling exhibit from the Smithsonian Institute. The day's activities included 800 school children and 1,200 adults visiting the exhibit. On September 20, 2001, RAAHS sponsored a welcome reception to honor Lawrence Young, the first African American Managing Editor of The Press-Enterprise newspaper. RAAHS's Board of Directors established the "Distinguished Service Award" in 2001. This award recognizes the achievements of individuals or organization that have made significant contributions to the development and betterment of the Inland Empire. In February 2002, RAAHS sent a letter of endorsement supporting the statement "Building a More Inclusive Community" as developed by Mayor Ronald Loveridge's Multicultural Forum. The Riverside African American Historical Society continues in its endeavor to preserve the African American Heritage and Culture in the Inland Empire and to maintain high visibility throughout the community. The Society participates in such community-wide events and organizations as the Black History Month Parade and Expo, the Multi-Cultural Festival, and the Riverside Sports Hall of Fame to name a few. For more information on the Riverside African American Historical Society, obtain "The African American Presence in Riverside", Journal of the Riverside African American Historical Society, 2004 and 2007-2008 editions, available by contacting a RAAHS Board member.
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The Purpose - to advocate for and promote a strong visible presence in the community. To educate and share information with other cultural organizations and entities. To hold steadfast to the moral standards of our heritage. Our Vision - to create, operate, and maintain an African American Culture Center for the permanent exhibition of African American artifacts and historical memorabilia.